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From Pre- 

shock of sexual / quake of a ship 
turned toward a strip of land / margining a body
such a headland to do without

                         “flames in the forehead 
                         of the morning sky”

went, gone, going 
as said of a conclusion that extinguishes divine promises 
or the knowledge of slight tremors 

                         written by / colorful substitution 
                         meeting above the eyes 

to hold exclusively / limb as of wing or fin
or promontory / to fasten high water and low water 
elbow and wrist 

                                   in the direction of which
                                   corresponding shore?


a pair of similar legs, a half of pelvis, three principal bones
            in which opposing muscles contract
like ordinary spin, like a branched-chain
            maintained by a yielding flow of rock

being subjected to equal pressure from every side 
            as heart or brain, as temperature or rainfall
to select from among others; especially to separate from another
            being a ring composed by transverse splitting of

to cause to stand, an individual, population, strain or culture
            beneath the surface under gravitational stress a yellow solid
recurring at regular intervals, see solitary
            occurring alone or once


through the center of buoyancy of a floating body
            vessels with pitted walls
the ball of a foot                     a change of heart

staining in a different color or shade, a language 
            having leaves, buds, and branches arranged oppositely
as well as the texture of rock    the thorax of an insect

incandescence, as in the development of an apron from a napron
            a slight margin of stability 
a regularly repeated tick         to repent by measure

any of the small particles of matter in the solar system
            (as the ego and the id) when a body is displaced
lightning, or a snowfall           such spreading occurs


entering the lungs /
                                   as the b in mumble

                                   as fungi on a leaf

            upon the tongue                      of a ripened ovary

                                   further clarification

                                   kardia, the heart


nerve fibers in the skin / 

                                   the curve traced by a point

            the feminine) / and the masculine)

                                               and another larger circle


and conventions are applied / 

                                   and certain formal characteristics of structure

            as on a woman’s dress /          a ring of leaflets


grief / dirge / hymn                 an unhistorical sound

                                   the sensation of touch and temperature

                                   called falling


as a wrap / a small fold / 

                         (called bracts)            covering the inner / ancient 

                                   corner of the eye


            directly above the center of disturbance

                         seed plants                  and ferns


grains or fibers

                         the innermost layer                  a person with relative simplicity of parts

                                      the core of an apple


living close to the ground /                  the windpipe during swallowing

            deciphering, interpreting and classifying inscriptions

                         example: “Crying is the refuge of plain women, but the ruin of pretty ones.” 

Barbara Tomash is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, PRE- (Black Radish Books) and Arboreal (Apogee). Her poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, Verse, VOLT, and elsewhere. She lives in Berkeley, California, and teaches in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.